To Barnet UNISON Library workers
I wanted to provide you with an update following a meeting with management on Monday 12th September 2016.
Firstly I requested an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive so I can raise my concerns about the proposals and present again another option that negates the need to implement this destruction of the Barnet Library service. I am due to meet him on Monday 26 September at 10 am. I will report back on this meeting later that week.
I have also requested an urgent meeting with the Leader of the Council. I believe that the proposed destruction of the Library Service is unnecessary and can be avoided.
In our union meeting last week I mentioned that I had seen the agency/consultancy paid by Barnet Council. Below is the agency/consultancy spend for the past four years and at a time when the size of the council workforce is shrinking year on year with outsourcing and redundancies.
- 2012/13 £12,526,943
- 2013/14 £13,775,546
- 2014/15 £15,538,090
- 2015/16 £17,907,052
In 2015/16 the agency spend increased to £17,907,052
In the first quarter of this financial year the Council has already paid out £6.9 million which, if it continues could see the Council break £20 million on agency/consultants.
In my view the Councils agency/consultancy costs are out of control and as you can all see it is increasing year on year.
The contractors providing agency workers and consultants will charge a commission to the Council. Looking at the figures over the last four years the commission paid to contractors would easily pay the Library savings.
The Council may respond that they are able to stop this escalation and are putting in systems and controls on spend. Well I’m afraid they said that before. Last autumn a resident John Dix asked a question about agency spend and he was told “agency levels should fall by 15% by the end of 2015/16.” (read full response here)
As you can see the spend for 2015/16 was £17,907,052
My offer on the negotiating table is quite simple.
Drop the current proposal and work with staff, residents on building and developing all of the Libraries in Barnet including plans to develop further in response to the rapid growth in the local population.
The savings required by the Library service will be generated by tackling the out of control agency/consultancy spend.
Last week two messages of support were given by Jeremy Corbyn
You can view the message from Jeremy here http://www.barnetunison.me.uk/wp/2016/09/20/jeremy-corbyn-backs-barnet-unison-library-workers/
Hugh Jordan will be back week commencing 26 September and a message will be going out in relation to the next strike action we discussed last week in the event the Council continue with their planned destruction.
Barnet UNISON Petition for Library workers
Please sign, get family and friends to sign
5th November demo
Be ready to join this national demonstration you can leave comments on facebook link here https://www.facebook.com/events/282708008768589/
Links to Library destruction
‘It is not a transformation, it is a destruction’ – Barnet’s UNISON branch call to save library jobs
A Library without staff what could possibly go wrong?
Austerity for whom – in Barnet Council?
Barnet UNISON: Further Response to the Library Restructure Staff Consultation
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Barnet UNISON Face Book here https://www.facebook.com/BarnetUNISON/